No one knows for sure what you can do to guarantee a long, healthy life. Genetics play a large role. So, does your environment. In recent years, experts have identified other important elements or common factors that seem to be present in individuals or groups who exemplify health, wellness, quality of life, and longevity. For example, professionals at the Harvard School of Public Health tell us that “the combination of healthy lifestyle factors is associated with lower risk of coronary heart disease, diabetes, and total cardiovascular disease.”
What are some basic things you can do to promote healthy living and living longer? Check out these Top 10 Tips on Healthy Living and Living Longer. Surefire ways to get your healthy lifestyle in gear.
1. Live a Healthy Lifestyle. Experts agree that there are a few things you can do to promote a healthy lifestyle for you and your family. Quit smoking. Lose weight. Exercise at least 30 minutes a day. Get enough sleep. Keep your stress in check. Visit your doctor on a regular basis. Get a physical each year, or as appropriate. These and other factors contribute to healthy living and living longer.
2. Engage in Exercise and Physical Activity. Get up, get going, and get on the stick. Starting and maintaining a formal exercise program is hard work, but well worth it. Experts agree that 30 minutes a day will do wonders for your health. 60 minutes a day will promote weight loss. Exercise promotes strong bones and reduces the risk of chronic disease. Exercise can also reduce stress and promote a sense of well being. Of course, anyone starting an exercise routine should check with their doctor on appropriate exercise routines for you and your family.
3. Eat a Healthy Diet. Need to lose weight? Who doesn’t? South Beach. Atkins. Low Carb. No carb. Weight Watchers. Jenny Craig. Pick one. Try it. Happy with your weight? Eat healthy. Watch your portions. Don’t overeat. Enjoy your meals, don’t rush through them. Check out USDA’s Food Pyramid for ideas on how many servings of meat, dairy, vegetables, fruits, and other foods to eat, and so much more.
4. Maintain Oral Health. Who knew that going to the doctor would become an essential element in healthy living and living longer? But, experts today agree that oral health is a critical factor in promoting health and wellness, and reducing your risk of cardiovascular and other diseases today. According to the American Dental Association, more than 300 oral health products carry ADA Seal of Acceptance and are recognized by dentists and consumers alike for their safety and health promoting qualities.
5. Keep Your Balance and On Your Feet. Falls account for a huge percentage of injuries and deaths each year in the United States alone. For seniors, falls can be devastating and cut short an otherwise healthy life. According to the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC), one in three adults 65 and older falls each year.Of those, 20% to 30% suffer moderate to severe injuries that make it hard for them function, get around, or live independently. These falls also increase their chances of early death. Older adults are hospitalized for fall-related injuries five times more often than for injuries from other causes. Maintaining your balance is a key factor in promoting health and wellness across the lifespan. Strength training can do much to advance the cause.
6. Maintain a Positive Attitude. Negativity has been shown to prolong illness, increase pain, and otherwise bring the patient down. Developing and maintaining a positive attitude can promote health and wellness, overcome illness and injury, you name it. Keeping stress in check is also important. Where to start? Enroll in a mindfulness meditation class. Get a message. Go for a walk. Get a dog or other household pet. Develop new interests or an enjoyable hobby. Sign up for a class. Make friends. There are so many things you can advance a more positive attitude and lifestyle.
7. Embrace Religious or Spiritual Beliefs. Studies indicate the positive value of religion and spirituality today. These same studies suggest that having a core value system, religious or spiritual beliefs can prolong life and, more importantly, promote a happy life across the lifespan. As a result, more than 30 medical schools in the United States now include courses on religion, spirituality and health for medical students. There must be something to it, though studies continue on the effect of religion and spirituality on overall health and wellness.
8. Watch the Company You Keep. According to the Violence Prevention Project of Greater Los Angeles, “Most gang homicides are not random, nor are they only disputes over drugs or some other crime. The vast majority of violent incidents involving gang members continue to result from fights over turf, status, and revenge.” For young people, it can’t be emphasized enough: the company you keep can either promote a healthy lifestyle and long life, or it can bring you down. It’s that simple.
9. Live in Community. Being married, being in a long term, committed relationship, and living in community can have positive effects across the lifespan. Everyone needs a support network. You’re no exception.
10. Have a Sense of Humor. Experts agree that having a sense of humor can promote health and wellness and even reduce pain. Check it out.
The Center for the Promotion of Healthy Lifestyles
Circulation. 2008 Aug 26;118(9):947-54. Epub 2008 Aug 12.
Primary prevention of stroke by healthy lifestyle.
Chiuve SE, Rexrode KM, Spiegelman D, Logroscino G, Manson JE, Rimm EB.
Harvard School of Public Health, Department of Nutrition, 665 Huntington Ave, Boston, MA 02115.